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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th September 2019

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  • September 6, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th September 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Nuakhai

Part of: GS Prelims

In News

  • Nuakhai is an important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand
  • It is observed on the fifth day of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
  • It is an agricultural festival which is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. The word nua means new and khai means food.
  • During this festival people offer the newly harvested crop called Nabanha to their respective presiding deities and relish different types of delicacies prepared from the newly harvested crop.
  • The Nuakhai Juhar is a major ritual of the festival. It is an exchange of greetings with friends, relatives and well-wishers.
  • Women folk leave bed early to perform the Nukhai rituals with decorating the house with colourful rangoli.

Eat Right India Movement

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Issues relating to Health

In News

  • What is Eat Right India movement? It is a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change 
  • Approach:  Through judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike.
  • Why it is needed? – Due to increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses
  • This movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • As part of campaign, the central food regulator – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has trained over 1.7 lakh food safety supervisors who will spread awareness and sensitise people and food vendors on food safety
  • FSSAI has also put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.
  • For example: FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.

Do You Know?

  • Under the Re-Purposed Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) initiative that FSSAI has undertaken with the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, used cooking oil is being converted to bio-diesel.
  • India has set a target of 2022 to be free of industrial trans-fats, a year ahead of the global target set by the WHO
  • POSHAN stands for Prime Minister’s Overreaching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment – is India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence.
  • Union Government is celebrating the entire month of September as “Rashtriya Poshan Maah” (National Nutrition Month) to emphasise the need for healthy nutrition. The theme is Complementary feeding.

Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III- Cyber Security

In News

  • Government announced that new Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) would be set up under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at a cost of ₹99 crore
  • The announcement was made during 1st National Conference on cyber-crime investigation and forensics organised by the CBI
  • Objective of CTV: To facilitate real-time information sharing with investigators across the country.
  • It will become operational next year, which would strengthen the hands of authorities to tackle the growing menace of cybercrimes.

Do You Know?

  • Union Bank of India’s SWIFT (a banking messaging service for international transactions) was targeted by hackers who siphoned off USD 171 million using it in 2016 – considered as India’s biggest international hack
  • CBI who is presently investigating the case has noticed that the crime is spread over seven countries. 
  • In terms of magnitude, the UBI cyber heist overtook the hacking of the Bangladesh Central Bank, in which USD 81 million were stolen by hackers

Act Far East

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – International Affairs

In News

  • PM Modi unveiled the ‘Act Far East’ policy for Russia and announced that India will give a line of credit worth USD 1 billion for the resource-rich region of Russia’s far east.
  • PM Modi is on a two-day visit to attended the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at Vladivostok – the first by an Indian prime minister.
  • Among the participants in the Summit are India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
  • EEF was established by decree of the President Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Vladivostok is the largest port on Russia’s Pacific coast, and home to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.
  • India is the first country that opened its consulate in Vladivostok
  • MoU was signed between India and Russia to open a full-fledged maritime route between Russia’s eastern port city Vladivostok and Chennai which will help in the upscaling of trade relations between the two nations.
  • Both sides signed various other agreements in the fields of military and technical cooperation, energy and science, LNG Business and LNG supplies, and natural gas

https://eurogeologists.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Arkhipova_Figure1-610×330.jpg


(MAINS FOCUS)


HEALTH

 Topic: General studies 2

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger

Controlling the hepatitis B virus calls for universal vaccination of new borns

Context:

  • On September 3, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand became the first four countries in the World Health Organization’s southeast Asia region to have successfully controlled hepatitis B.

Concerns:

  • Despite the introduction of hepatitis B vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme in 2002 and scaling-up nationwide in 2011, about one million people in India become chronically infected with the virus every year.
  • According to the Health Ministry, as on February 2019, an estimated 40 million people in India were infected. 

About hepatitis:

  • Hepatitis is a medical condition in which there occurs inflammation of liver cells and its complications vary with type of infection.
  • There are 5 types of hepatitis viz. A, B, C, D and E. Each type is caused by a different hepatitis virus.
  • Hepatitis viruses is one of the common cause of liver damage.
  • Hepatitis B and C are the most deadly. These two types are mostly responsible for liver damage.
  • Hepatitis viruses B, C and D spread by contact with contaminated blood or body fluids.
  • Hepatitis A and E spreads through unsafe food and drink. 
  • Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal pain and swelling, yellow urine, pale or dark stools, chronic fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite. 
  • WHO has appointed Amitabh Bachchan as its goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South East Asia Region.

Prevalence of the disease;

  • Hepatitis B infection at a young age turns chronic, causing over 1,00,000 premature deaths annually from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. 
  • A study published in 2013 found lower coverage of hepatitis B vaccine in eight of the 10 districts surveyed.
  • According to the WHO, the coverage of hepatitis B third dose had reached 86% in 2015. 
  • However, despite the high vaccination coverage, disease prevalence in children aged less than five years has not dropped below 1%.

Reasons for increasing numbers:

  • One of the reasons for this is the sub-optimal coverage of birth dose in all infants within 24 hours of birth.
  • The compulsion to increase birth dose to cut vertical transmission arises from two important reasons — about 70-90% newborns infected this way become chronic carriers of hepatitis B, and about 20-30% carriers in India are due to vertical transmission. 
  • But even seven years after the Health Ministry approved the birth dose in 2008, its coverage remained low — 45% in 2015 and 60% in 2016 
  • In the case of institutional delivery, the birth dose vaccine coverage is low — 76.36% in 2017. One of the reasons for the low coverage is the fear of wastage of vaccine when a 10-dose vial is used.
  • Unfortunately, health-care workers are very often unaware of the WHO recommendation that allows hepatitis B open-vial policy.(  Opened vials of hepatitis B vaccine can be kept for a maximum duration of 28 days for use in other children if the vaccine meets certain conditions)

National Viral Hepatitis Control Program

  • The National Action Plan was developed by experts from across the country, in line with India’s commitment and keeping the global perspective in mind. 
  • The Plan provides a strategic framework, based on which National Viral Hepatitis Control Program was framed and launched in July, 2018 under National Health Mission by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. 
  • This program is also in line with our global commitment towards achieving Sustainable development Goal (SDG) 3.3. India has affirmed this commitment at the 69th World Health Assembly.
  • The aim of the program is to combat hepatitis and achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030, achieve significant reduction in the infected population, morbidity and mortality associated with Hepatitis B and C viz. Cirrhosis and Hepato-cellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and Hepatitis A and E.
  • A National Steering Committee was formed to formulate the National Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis in January 2017. Various working groups were formed which looked at various thematic areas. The Plan was formed in consultation with nearly 110 experts, program managers, state officials and community members.
  • The Technical Guidelines is intended to serve as a reference document for practising physicians and provide standardized testing and treatment protocols to ensure consistency in diagnosing and treatment of the disease, in the scientifically most appropriate and cost-effective manner. This will be taken down to the lowest level of health care through the Ayushman Bharat programme
  • The preventive, promotive and curative interventions need to come together, especially since symptoms for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C often remain dormant for long.
  • Vaccination against Hepatitis B to the health care workers and high-risk population will also be initiated under this program. No child should suffer from Hepatitis B.
  • Use of social media and field outreach through mobile vans of the Ministry of I&B to improve public awareness on the disease.

Conclusion:

  • India is one of the few countries in the world to roll out management of Hepatitis B and hepatitis C in a public health approach and offer free diagnostics and drugs lifelong to its beneficiaries.
  • Integrating the interventions within the existing health systems framework under National Health Mission are further complementing the efforts of increasing access to testing and management of viral hepatitis.
  • Coordination and collaboration with other national programs and schemes to provide a promotive, preventive and curative package of services will further augment the government of India’s determined efforts towards achieving the goal.

Connecting the dots:

  1. “Only healthy people can build a strong and prosperous nation”. Comment.
  2. Can Ayushman Bharat prove to be a game changer? Discuss.

SECURITY

TOPIC:General studies 3:

  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors (extremists) in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas

Chief of Defence Staff: Going forward

In news:

  • The recent decision to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), or Permanent Chief of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, satisfies a long-standing demand of the strategic community in India. 
  • Post the announcement of the decision, a high-powered panel has been set up by the government under the National Security Advisor (NSA) to draw up the charter of duties of the CDS and to implement the decision.
  • The blueprint for its operationalisation would require intensive deliberation to make sure that no aspect of its implementation is left unaddressed.

Structure:

  • The three service chiefs are expected to retain the operational role, but they would be answerable to the CDS, who is most likely to have direct control over the tri-services strategic, space, cyber and special forces commands.
  • He is also expected to spearhead military diplomacy. In a nutshell, he would be responsible for overall defence preparedness and function as the single-point military advisor to the government.

Way forward:

  • For CDS to be able to discharge all, or even some of, these functions, several structural and functional changes will have to be made. To begin with, he will need an organisational set up. A lean and thin organisation, with officer-oriented work culture, is needed as it will be less prone to bureaucratic lethargy. 
  • The functions to be carried out by the CDS will need to be specified unambiguously. It will be a challenge to strike the right balance between empowering the CDS sufficiently enough to discharge the functions assigned to him and overloading him with an unmanageable charter.
    Depending on what roles are finally assigned, a number of functions presently being performed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will have to be transferred to his jurisdiction. The modality of their transfer will need to be worked out to prevent disruption in work.
  • The question whether the manpower handling such functions in the MoD should also be transferred will need careful consideration.
    It may not be desirable to transfer en masse the civilian staff and officers – some of them on deputation from various civil services – who for long have been accused of lack of professional knowledge, expertise and empathy required for carrying out the functions assigned to them. This is not going to change merely by bringing them under the administrative control of the CDS. 
  • The CDS would require to interact not only with MoD  but also with several other ministries, including External Affairs and Finance, and also with functionaries like the Cabinet Secretary, Defence Secretary, and the National Security Advisor.
    It would be desirable to lay down protocols and standard operating procedures for such interactions to ensure smooth functioning of the new dispensation under a non-obtrusive system of checks and balances, and to pre-empt contretemps over status, authority and responsibility of various functionaries and organisations.
  • Since one of the most important functions of the CDS would be to build up the capability of the armed forces, the existing capital procurement system will need to be re-engineered. 
  • CDS would undoubtedly require financial powers for carrying out whatever other functions are assigned to him. The present system of stratified delegation of financial powers under the revenue segment to the armed forces down the line, while retaining some powers in the MoD, is flawed.
    Full financial powers must be delegated to the CDS and other functionaries in the armed forces. 
  • The CDS is likely to face severe constraints in resource allocation as the need for funds projected by the armed forces has routinely been far higher than the budgetary allocations.
    The scheme for implementation must require the Ministry of Finance to indicate long-term availability of funds and the CDS to draw up defence plans within the indicated financial parameters. This could well be the biggest challenge for the CDS as he will have to withstand the pressure from the Service Chiefs, as operational commanders, for higher allocation to meet their service-specific requirement.

Conclusion:

The CDS cannot be a panacea for all problems faced by the defence establishment. However, an effective implementation of the blueprint of the plan by the panel will help Indian defence system to undergo much needed and long-waited reform.

Connecting the dots:

  • The recent decision to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) satisfies a long-standing demand of the strategic community in India. Critically analyze.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Eastern Economic Forum

  1. EEF is an international forum established by Russia in 1991 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East 
  2. The Russian Far East comprises the eastern Russian territory between Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) Nuakhai festival is observed in which part of India?

  1. Western Odisha
  2. Nagaland
  3. Punjab
  4. None of the above

Q.3) Consider the following statements 

  1. CBI derives power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  2. Director of CBI has been provided security of two-year tenure in CBI by the CVC Act, 2003
  3. The CVC Act also provides mechanism for selection of Director of CBI and other officers of the rank of SP and above in CBI.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Q.4) Consider the following statements

  1. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is implementing POSHAN Abhiyaan
  2. Union Government is celebrating the entire month of September as “Rashtriya Poshan Maah” to emphasise the need for healthy nutrition. 

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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